Charles Christiansen

Charles Christiansen is currently Board Chair of the Society for the Study of Occupation (SSO: USA) and the founder of a small consulting group. He is also Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is the immediate past CEO of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, serving that role from 2008-2015. Prior to that, he served academic leadership roles at the University of Minnesota; the University of Texas Medical Branch and at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Christiansen was born in Panama and schooled in the United States and abroad. During his career, he has earned wide recognition as an academic, volunteer and occupational therapy professional and scholar.

Name and Contact

  • Charles Christiansen, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Training and Advanced Certifications

  • University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (BSOT)

  • Ball State University (MA, Counseling Psychology)

  • University of Houston (EdD, Education in the Health Professions)

  • Baylor College of Medicine (Post Doctoral Residency in Educational Administration)

  • Registered Occupational Therapist: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

  • USAF Biomedical Sciences Corps: Squadron Officer School

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Occupational therapy history

  • Community health

  • Brain injury rehabilitation

  • Lifestyle and health

  • History of health care in the United States

  • Occupational science

Awards and Honors

  • AOTA Award of Merit

  • AOTA/AOTF Wilma West Award

  • AOTA: 100 Influential People in Occupational Therapy

  • AOTA: Eleanor Clark Slagle Lectureship

  • AOTA: Fellow

  • Society for the Study of Occupation

  • Ruth Zemke Lectureship

  • University of North Dakota: Distinguished Alumnus

  • University of Texas Medical Branch: Leone Award for Administrative Leadership

  • Texas Occupational Therapy Association: Occupational Therapist of the Year

  • USAF Biomedical Sciences Corps: Outstanding Junior Officer

Leadership Accomplishments and Passions

  • Dr. Christiansen has published numerous scientific papers, chapters and texts in occupational therapy and occupational science that have been collectively cited over 5,000 times.

  • He resides in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife Beth Jones, PhD (a biochemist) where they own an equine boarding and training facility for dressage horses and riders known as Bella Vista Farm.

  • He enjoys cycling, hiking, poetry, volunteering, social advocacy and philanthropy. He has created endowed scholarships in Occupational Therapy at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

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